Internship and volunteer opportunities

Looking for volunteers and interns!

ACE seeks volunteers in a variety of areas to help advance our work. These include communications, development, legal, and technical assistance. For more information, please contact us at info@ace-ej.org.

Our current internship opportunities are available below.

Updated: February 2016

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE: Law Student Intern, Public Interest Law Fellows, Development Volunteer

Development and Communications Intern Kathleen O'Brien

“ACE is such a special place for me.”

—Kathleen O'Brien
ACE Member

See Kathleen's story.

Kathleen was a Development & Communications Intern from 2008 to 2009.

1) Law Student Intern 

ACE builds the power of communities of color and low-income communities in Massachusetts to eradicate environmental racism and classism, create healthy, sustainable communities, and achieve environmental justice. ACE seeks a law student intern for fall 2015. The law student intern will assist and report to ACE’s Senior Attorney on the cases and issues that require work during the fall term. The subject matter will include many of the legal and factual issues that arise in a multi-faceted community-based environmental justice program that provides legal representation to resident groups.

Responsibilities and Opportunities

The student should expect to perform legal and factual research and writing, interact with state and local government, and work with community residents. Interns will perform a variety of tasks that may include:

  • Conducting case investigation, legal research, and discovery;
  • Meeting with clients and technical assistance professionals;
  • Performing administrative advocacy; and
  • Screening potential new cases.

Qualifications

  • Law student who has completed one or two years of an ABA accredited law school or recent law school graduate seeking to volunteer her/his time;
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills;
  • Strong commitment to social/environmental justice and community empowerment;
  • Organized;
  • Knowledge of environmental and administrative law is a plus;
  • Flexibility to work an occasional weeknight or weekend day; and
  • Commitment to work at ACE for at least ten hours per week for ten weeks

Salary

ACE will provide training, mentoring, and experience, but no monetary compensation is available. Many interns have worked at ACE with public interest funding from outside sources.

To Apply

Email your resume, a cover letter, and a writing sample (not to exceed 10 pages) to Richard Juang, Esq. at richard@ace-ej.org. ACE will accept applications on an ongoing basis. Law students of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

2) SEEKING PUBLIC INTEREST LAW FELLOWSHIP APPLICANTS WITH OUTSIDE FUNDING SOURCE

Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE) seeks to sponsor one or more candidates for public interest law fellowships supported by outside funding. Because ACE does not have independent funding to hire fellows at this time, we will limit our review of applications to those candidates who have identified a source of funding (e.g., fellowship funding through law school, Skadden or Equal Justice Works Fellowship).

As a fellowship sponsor, ACE would provide an entry-level attorney the opportunity to spend 1-2 years at a highly-respected community-based environmental justice organization. The position would commence in late summer or early fall of 2015 for an attorney with funding from their law school and in fall 2016 for a Skadden or Equal Justice Works Fellowship. For candidates that have identified a funding source, ACE’s Senior Attorney will support fellowship applicants to develop their proposals, including specific projects, if appropriate.

Based in Roxbury, MA, ACE is a non-profit environmental justice organization that builds the power of low-income communities and communities of color in Massachusetts to eradicate environmental racism and classism, create healthy, sustainable communities, and achieve environmental justice. We believe that everyone has the right to a healthy environment and to be decision-makers in issues affecting our communities.

ACE organizes residents, provides legal/technical support to community groups, develops youth leadership, and coordinates campaigns on critical environmental justice issues. At ACE, we believe that people who are directly impacted by decisions should be speaking for themselves and affecting the decision-making process. As a member of ACE’s environmental justice legal services team, the Legal Fellow will have the unique opportunity to be trained as a community lawyer to provide legal support to groups of low-income residents and communities of color looking to work together to improve their quality of life. ACE is the premier environmental justice organization in Massachusetts with a model that addresses the root causes of injustice by employing the following tactics: community organizing, legal services, technical assistance, and strategic coalitions. The Legal Fellow will focus on four areas of work, if a specific project is not otherwise identified:

  1. Case Intakes – The Legal Fellow will be responsible for handling telephone calls, e-mails, and in-person requests for legal or technical assistance. The case intake process includes meeting with community groups to conduct outreach and respond to requests, completing an eligibility process, and facilitating discussions with the ACE Legal Advisory Board Committee to determine whether to accept a case.
  2. Legal Advice and Representation – The Legal Fellow will manage a case load by providing direct legal advice and representation to client groups. This includes writing comment letters in support of clients’ positions to local, state, and federal agencies; testifying at public hearings; liaising with agency employees; and negotiating with private companies. Occasionally, the representation may involve administrative litigation.
  3. Manage Pro Bono Network – ACE has managed the Massachusetts Environmental Justice Assistance Network (MEJAN) for more than 20 years. ACE conducts the outreach and intake to identify eligible client groups and submits requests to MEJAN professionals. The Legal Fellow will invite professionals to join MEJAN, oversee the match process, and provide ongoing coaching support to MEJAN professionals.
  4. Movement Building – ACE’s work is part of a larger environmental justice movement. The Legal Fellow will be responsible for communicating with national and regional networks of environmental justice advocates. The Legal Fellow will contribute to movement building by speaking about ACE’s work at conferences, trainings, and other events.

The Legal Fellow will work closely with ACE’s Senior Attorney and Volunteer Attorney / MEJAN Coordinator and members.

Qualifications

  • J.D. Admitted to the Massachusetts Bar or awaiting the results of the Bar Examination.
  • Strong commitment to social/environmental justice and community empowerment, preferably with 0-2 years of experience providing legal assistance or environmental or social justice advocacy in low-income communities and communities of color.
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Good listener and facilitator, well organized, good interpersonal skills.
  • Team player, self-starter, quick learner, and ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Flexibility to work weeknights and occasional weekends.
  • Knowledge of environmental justice law and policy preferred.
  • Personal connection to an environmental justice community preferred.
  • Spanish language fluency a plus.

Salary

  • Salary and benefits will be determined by the terms of the fellowship.
  • Please indicate whether you have identified specific sources of funding.

To apply

Email resume, cover letter, and writing sample to Richard Juang, Esq., at richard@ace-ej.org. Deadline to apply:
Applications must be filed in a timely manner that allows sufficient preparation before fellowship applications are due. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply. For more information, please see ACE’s website: www.ace-ej.org.